When BSSC Year 12 student, Rohan Tyler, was in Year 7 he decided to give the Viola a go—and quickly realised this was NOT the instrument for him.

He swapped to French Horn, an instrument considered by many to be very challenging. But Rohan loved it and says he quickly decided it was “the best instrument in the world”.

He now plays French Horn with BSSC’s Soul Band and the Bendigo Symphonic Band. He also plays Tenor Horn with the City of Greater Bendigo Brass Band.

If Rohan could go back and give that Year 7 student some advice, he would tell himself to focus more on music—to pick up that French Horn more often and do more scales.

“I’d also say: don’t drop Music Theory which I did last year and now regret.”

Rohan would also reinforce something he has actually already achieved during his secondary schooling: sticking with his interests as the pressures of other schoolwork built —specifically music and history.

As he adjusts to Year 12, Rohan wants to keep a healthy balance. He’s keeping up his weekend cricket as a bowler for Sandhurst Cricket Club and continuing as a member of Bendigo Youth Council.

Rohan is also a regular observer in the public gallery during COGB Council meetings.

“I have always had a real interest in local government and joined the Youth Council after another student encouraged me to apply.

“I’m very aware the voice of young people is not always taken seriously, but in Bendigo it really is.”

BSSC has given Rohan political opportunities too. He’s part of the College Council as a student representative, a role he’s relished, and admires the way BSSC seeks student opinions.

Despite all these extra-curricular interests, Rohan is committed to VCE with plans to become an educator himself, teaching Humanities at secondary level—preferably VCE.

He says he is grateful to those teachers who fostered his passion for the Humanities—which began with a fascination for Second World War history.

As he matured Rohan realised there were important political aspects controlling these events.

“I still love history, but I look at the political perspective too.”

BSSC has allowed Rohan to study exactly what he wants. This year his favourite subjects are Legal Studies and Politics, and he and his friends have even set up a Politics group chat.

“We discuss or comment on topical issues and I really enjoy it—you shouldn’t explore one side of a debate and think you know everything that’s going on,” he says. “Humanities is inherently social: you need to listen to other people. I like to hear all sides.”

In line with this, Rohan recently enjoyed interviewing a relative involved in local politics who holds very different political opinions to his.

Asked for a word he would use to describe BSSC, Rohan chose ‘freedom’ and says he recommends BSSC 100%.

Features that have impressed him about the college include BSSC offering the widest range of VCE subjects in the state, the generous study periods, and the opportunity to blend his passion for Music with his love for the Humanities.

“BSSC also encourages students to be themselves,” he says. “I love to express myself by wearing eccentric clothes. ‘Normal’ is not my thing when it comes to clothes and overalls are my all-time favourite.”

If you see Rohan in overalls, it’s a good day!

Still, BSSC has presented some challenges. Finding motivation to catch up and come back up to speed when he gets behind has been harder as the workload has increased.

Rohan believes the most important thing he can do is make sure he’s fully present and focused in class.

“But I’ve gradually realised I really am doing this VCE thing.”

Rohan’s hot study tip is to alternate times of studying alone—he loves the library—with periods of group study.

“Don’t lock into one or the other, and make sure to keep contact with friends to maintain a good school/social balance.”

While Rohan really admires Green’s leader, Adam Bandt, and what he’s observed the Greens are doing for young people and education, the people he most admires—and is grateful for—are his parents.

“They have done so much for me and supported me in everything I’ve wanted to do. They drive me everywhere, allowing me to make the most of many of the opportunities I’ve had.”

He’s proudest of his progress with music and remembers a moment in Year 10 when he realised he really was good at it.

“I had been underestimating myself and it was a bit of a moment to recognise I could perform at the level required to join the bands I’m part of.”

Rohan’s favourite genre is Ska music—described by Wikipedia as: “… a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae … combines elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues.”

His own most memorable musical moments have been at music camps and later this year he’s looking forward to playing alongside the Navy Band when they perform with the Bendigo Symphonic Band.

“I just love playing with professional musos.”